Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Censorship never works

When will the powers that be learn that censorship never works. Even during the days of the Cold War, people behind the Iron Curtain still managed to get stuff and info from the rest of the world, bypassing the official channels. Even China's Great Firewall can't do it. So, the current "blacklist" of a political website because it is deemed sensitive can only doom to fail.

Censorship is a form of oppression and is committed by cowards who cannot face up to the facts.

Three cheers to another bright idea from the ruling regime!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Of Linux and Religion

Recently I came across a post (@71) on Distrowatch about not mixing religions and technology. Well, the poster certainly do have issues; but he has a point, is religion compatible with technology?

UbuntuME (Ubuntu Muslim Edition) and UbuntuCE (Ubuntu Christian Edition) are two variants of the immensely popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, catering for the needs of the Muslims and Christians respectively.

I have always held the idea that religious diversity is a fact in life. I have friends from many faiths and race. I eat and work with them daily. So, what's wrong with the picture? Nothing! What? Must strife be a constant companion of inter-faith and inter-racial relationships?

Sheesh! Don't you know? Politics is more destructive than any force on Earth. I say only politics is compatible with politics and non other.

And nothing is more disgusting than a swine of a politician using religion for his own needs.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Security is not about self-pleasing simians

The comments by Linus about OpenBSD people being self-pleasing monkeys is immature at the least. Sometimes I feel that he does not realise that he is a leader of (in many cases the face of) the GNU/Linux and FOSS worlds.

Young people and many others do look up to him, the fact that he did not like someone accusing him (who does really like to be criticised or accused?) of something does not give him the right to insult.

Security is never over-rated, perhaps many may not share my paranoid views but can you imagine if your banking, credit card information are compromised? What then?

The attitude of many so called IT professionals towards security is basically shameful. Security vendors will always push their wares as a one-stop solution. So what? Plunk a fancy, expensive appliance in your network and everything will be ok?

For any platform there will be always a set of best practices to properly secure the system. Apache HTTPD has theirs, IIS has theirs. But how many actually follow them? How many times we have heard people sacrificing best practices (apply security patches, do not share passwords, use complex passwords, clear separation of privileges, encrypt when possible etc) because it is inconvenient?

Or the lame excuse, nobody will hack us because we are small fish. Well, if I am a cracker in training I will go for smaller outfits, precisely because I know they will not have the resources to track or prosecute me. Smaller outfits are attractive because they can't fight back.

Will we ever compromise our homes' or cars' security? Why have so many locks? Why don't we just don't use any locks? Saves us the trouble of carrying keys right?

Sorry for the rant. I am just so very upset that whenever I speak of the need for security and hardening many would just roll their eyes, and say I am going overboard. That is until things get hacked and they start trembling and scrambling for an answer.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wasted moment

I wasted a good evening with my mates to rush back home to watch the final of the Men's Singles Badminton competition of the Beijing Olympiad.

Winning and losing is part of the game as they say, but the way Lee Chong Wei played was just plain horrible; what happened to the ferocious tiger who downed Korea's Lee Hyun-Il and tore through Indonesia's Sony Dwi Koncoro?

Granted, Lin Dan played well and is considered to be currently the world's best, but many of Lin's points were "gifts" from Chong Wei.

Aw man....should have just sat down with my mates and got wasted, me guess it would have been a better use of my time. Perhaps the occasion got to Chong Wei, perhaps it was the partisan crowd, feng-shui, planetary alignment (or anything else apologists would like to add) or just perhaps he is good enough to only win battles but not the war.

Yeah, I am no world class badminton player so I can't possibly understand his pains and the pressure he's under. I also realise that the country has spent millions on the likes of him and all we got are more disappointments.

Yeah I am pissed and I do realise I am ranting like a lunatic. I get that sometimes especially when I see how my tax money is being spent; on a bunch of spoilt, whinning, prima donnas.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

OSS in Local Governments

Kudos to the State Governments of Kedah and Pahang for switching over to My home state of Perak is also moving towards the same path by 2009.

Really great to be alive and bear witness to this.